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Prologue to Run

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The snow crunched under my bare feet as I sprinted through the icy 2054 Alaska forest. My auburn hair streamed behind me as I ran, panting. The cold air painfully stung my lungs as I struggled to inhale more with each fleeing step. I wasn’t fast enough; they were gaining on me, getting closer. I had almost arrived at one of the many bridges that spanned an ice-river on my family’s modern and extensive estate, Romanov, my last name. The river was hundreds of feet below the bridge, but still the fog raised up high enough to conceal the entire bridge. If I could just get across, I might be able to get to the road where I could get help from a passing car.
All of a sudden, a sharp pain like fire laced through my foot and up my leg. I stumbled, but pushed on, I couldn’t stop now. But every step was like the first, so painful. I must have stepped on a rock, and it got lodged in my foot. I silently cursed myself for fleeing the mansion so quickly, for not grabbing any essential provisions. So now I had to run through the icy snow without shoes, jacket, hat or gloves. All I had on was a dress and a thin sweater. I could hear the man chasing me; he had really caught up while I was thinking. I need to run faster. The bridge is getting closer, and there is something by it… or someone. These people are smart; they expected me to run here. So they placed a man… with a gun, by the bridge. They really aren’t taking any chances this time; I really should change my escape route, but this is the only one with two ways across.
As I neared the bridge I slowed down, panting and defeated. I knew this situation only allowed me three choices. One, I could talk my way out of a beating, but go with them peacefully. Maybe then they wouldn’t hurt me as much, maybe even not kill me. Two, I could fight them. I might surprise them enough to get over the bridge and go find help. Or three, I could talk until I neared the edge of the cliff, and jump.
My time was up; I had arrived at the bridge. These men were stocky, and heavily muscled. They both had stubble on their faces and their eyes told stories of fear and blood. The only difference between the two was that one was much taller than the other, other than that, they could be twins. I had no chance whatsoever of surviving a fight with them, so I crossed choice two off my list.
“Hi.” I greeted then as casually as my racing heart and panting breaths would allow me. Both choice one and three were still doable.
“Where’d your Daddy go, Sweetie?” the taller one sneered at me, trying to sound concerned but failing on epic proportions. He apparently thought me much younger than sixteen. I guess it was believable with my tiny figure and large, green eyes.

“Like you don’t already know”, I angrily thought at them. But I kept my mouth shut, deciding to go along with the scared little girl act the tall man had already put into play. I forced tears to well up in my eyes and in the most scared little girl voice I could muster, I said;
“I don’t know, I turned around and he wasn’t there! Can you help me find him please?” as I said this, I acted out turning around while moving closer to the edge of the cliff. Choice one’s potential was rapidly fading, and I had only one choice left.
“Let us help you find him, Sweetie. Don’t you worry, we will get you back to him in no time” as the short man said this, in a voice so gruff I wasn’t sure if it was real or not, he moved closer to me. His feet crunched on the snow, as he took one step… two… three… I jumped, arms flailing in search of something I had only seconds to find





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